Address by the President of the Republic of Tajikistan, H.E. Emomali Rahmon “On Major Dimensions of Tajikistan’s Foreign and Domestic Policy”

23.12.2022 16:40

Distinguished members of Majlisi Milli (Upper Chamber) and Majlisi Namoyandagon (Lower Chamber)!
Dear compatriots!

The year of 2022 was a successful year for Tajikistan overall.

Thanks to the tireless efforts of our people, we successfully implemented the development processes and plans and programs on sustainable development of the national economy and improvement of the people’s living standards.

As you are aware, in recent years the global political and economic situation has become complicated and the humanity has been in the most sensitive and difficult period of its history during the last century.

Thus, during the last five years, the negative impact of geopolitical tensions, trade wars, the spread of communicable diseases, clashes and conflicts, as well as the consequences of climate change to the world states’ economies has intensified, and the rapid armament and the beginning of the “Cold war” phase caused the disruption of the system of economic and commercial relations between states as well as the emergence of the world economic crisis.

In particular, in 2022 economic and trade sanctions were expanded, the existing supply chains of goods and products were broken, production has decreased, the prices, especially food prices went up in an unprecedented manner.

Despite the ongoing changes in the world economy and the negative impacts of external shocks on our national economy, the effective implementation of economic reforms, policies and programs and anti-crisis measures in the last five years, enabled to maintain the economic growth of Tajikistan at the rate of 7.3 percent annually in average, and to increase the gross domestic product from TJS 71 bn to TJS 115 bn and the GDP per capita by 1.5 times.

Thus, in 2022 efforts were strengthened to maintain stable microeconomic indicators, reduce the impact of potential risks on the national economy, ensure steady operation of the banking system, increase the manufacturing of industrial and agricultural products, improve the investment climate and business environment, and reach 8 percent growth of the national economy.

In the last five years, the population’s well-being has gradually improved and its monetary income increased from TJS 41.1 bn in 2018 to TJS 87 bn in 2022, or in other words by 2.1 times. The average salary increased by one and a half times and the size of the maximum pension increased by 1.3 times. The above-mentioned actions enabled us to reduce the poverty rate from 27.4 percent in 2018 to 22.5 percent in 2022.

During this period, there were created more than 900,000 new jobs, including 190 000 in 2022, which positively contributed to the public employment situation in the country.

The total amount of fiscal expenditures in social spheres increased from TJS 9.1 bn in 2018 to TJS 14.7 bn in 2022, that is by 62 percent.

In the last five years, we channeled TJS 36 bn for the development of education and healthcare sectors alone and increased the share of social sector financing in the total amount of fiscal expenditures to 44 percent.

During this period, we constructed and commissioned 842 educational institutions accommodating 382,000 students, including 190 educational facilities accommodating 87,000 students in 2022 by using funding from all sources.

At the same time, let me inform the honorable members of parliament and our distinguished compatriots that during 31 years of our state independence, we built and commissioned 3430 new educational institutions accommodating nearly 1,5m students.

Though during the 70 years of pre-independence period 3229 educational facilities were built only. However, we still need to do a lot in this area.

Currently, Tajikistan’s public secondary schools cover over 2,3m students.

Also, while until 1991, i.e., in the 70 years prior to independence, only 2862 healthcare institutions and facilities with 52 800 employees were operating in the country, during the period of independence, especially in the last 25 years, we built and commissioned over 2827 healthcare institutions and facilities.

The number of healthcare institutions and facilities in the country has almost doubled and reached 5116 and their healthcare providers reached 79 000 compared to 1991.

In the last five years, we allocated over TJS 19 bn, including TJS 4.3 bn in 2022 alone from all sources of the public budget in order to support vulnerable segments of the population through the payment of pensions, allowances and compensations, to maintain social protection institutions and implement other commitments.

At the same time, one-time financial assistance of TJS 600 Somoni will be paid to 475 000 needy citizens of the country, including orphans and children with no custodians, persons with disabilities, poor families and social allowance recipients until the end of 2022 and we will channel TJS 285mn for this purpose.

As I mentioned on many occasions the supreme goal of the Government of Tajikistan is to steadily improve the living standards of our noble people.

In this regard, the Government needs to further maintain the stable social and economic progress of the country and ensure at least 8% economic growth in 2023.

In this context, in 2023 the total monetary income of the population will increase by 15 percent and will reach TJS 100 bn.

In this regard, let me reiterate that we need to mainly focus on the stable development of the different spheres of our national economy, prevention of the impact of potential risks on them, effective use of existing capacities, establishment of production enterprises, creation of new jobs, increasing the competitiveness domestic products, strengthening of export, development of “green economy”, accelerated digitalization of different economic spheres, human resources development and improved quality of social services.

With a view to implementing the development objectives and priorities the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade jointly with other line ministries and agencies, as well as local executive authorities, should fully introduce strategic planning at all levels of public administration and undertake the necessary measures towards implementation of the indicators outlined in the program documents.

We have been creating the required legal framework to maintain sustainable economic development, ensure the financial stability, increase the income and improve budget efficiency, and undertaking necessary actions towards improvement finance and tax systems.

The implemented measures enabled to annually increase the public budget. In 2022 the fiscal revenues amounted to TJS 33 bn and increased by 38% compared to 2018. 

The Ministry of Finance needs to undertake practical measures in line with the principles of strategic planning and the international financial reporting standards on the issues of financial discipline, effective utilization of resources, transparency and accountability, and high-quality public budget development, as well as digitalization of the sphere.

The Tax Committee jointly with the relevant authorities is mandated to take additional measures to further improve public services such as e-services, tax administration, and thereby eliminate human factors in the tax payment process, as well as the mandatory use of cash devices operating in real-time regime for settlements.

Maintenance of stable exchange rate, strong banking system solvency and securing targeted inflation, as well as ensuring the effectively functioning payment system remains as our core task withing the monetary policy. 

In 2022, the stable exchange rate was maintained and the inflation rate made 4.2%. However, the potential risks urge us to take immediate measures in this direction.

At the end of 2022, the total outstanding balance of deposits of the population and legal entities in the country's banks amounted TJS 13 bn.

Although this indicator is higher by almost 28% compared to 2021, however it still does not meet the demand in the development of banking system.

In 2022 the country’s banking system issued loans amounting TJS 14.1bn to the population and entrepreneurs, which increased by 85% compared to 2018.

Also, during the last five years, the number of borrowers increased from 564,000 in 2018 to 2,336,000 in 2022, i.e. by 4.1 times, which demonstrates the enhanced economic activeness of population and entrepreneurs.

The total amount of loans issued during this period amounted to TJS 55 bn, with 36% of it issued to manufacturing enterprises.

However, these indicators are still low to achieve our strategic goals, in particular the goal on accelerated industrialization.

I would like to emphasize that the issue of timely provision of the economy with funding, particularly with lending, should always be at the heart of activities of the country's financial and banking system.

The more affordable loans the banks and other financial institutions issue to the population and business, the higher will be the socio-economic development pace and the further will improve the population’s living standards. 

Therefore, the National Bank jointly with the Ministry of Finance, "Amonatbank" and "Sanoatsodirotbank" are mandated to take necessary measures to encourage depositors, to decrease interest rates of loans to different sectors of the economy, in particular, to the manufacturing enterprises as well as to offer affordable mortgage loans.

With a view to promoting the financial sector development, it is important to fully move to cashless payment of all taxes and duties for the issuance of permits and licenses, fines, mandatory state insurance, utilities and other types of public services starting from July 1, 2023.

In this regard, the Ministry of Finance and the National Bank are mandated to take immediate and decisive measures to establish a single database on the accounts of all public institutions, scale up the cashless payment infrastructure and create a single window for payment of all public services.

With a view to expanding nationwide financial inclusion the National Bank jointly with the Ministry of Finance and other relevant ministries and agencies should take necessary measures for the development of digital financial services network, ensure variety of financial services, to protect the rights of consumers of financial services and improve their financial literacy.

Dear Members of the Parliament!

During the independence period as part of the Government and public policy we have undertaken a wide range of measures and introduced numerous incentives for the entrepreneurs were introduced to support business and investment activities.

To date, over 120 tax and customs incentives have been offered to businesses and investors, the number of public agencies for business registration have been reduced from 4 to 1 and the registration services are provided free of charge.

As of 1 January 2022, the new version of the Tax Code has been introduced, whereby many additional incentives and privileges have been proposed.

The tax and customs benefits applied in 2022 amount to over TJS 12 bn.

Thus, the reduction and elimination of the rates in 5 types of taxes enables the business will save more than TJS 1.5 bn as a support. 

As a result, the number of business entities reached 339,000 in 2022 and increased by 76,000 compared to 2018.

It is worth mentioning that the entrepreneurs in turn, have been significantly contributing to the process of accelerated industrialization, construction of manufacturing enterprises, social facilities and creation of new jobs in our country. I believe that the patriotic businesses will further expand such valuable efforts.

The Government needs to undertake additional measures to further improve the investment and business climate, in particular for direct investment, ensure the implementation of guarantees, incentives and public support activities, to encourage and appreciate entrepreneurs, as well as to develop the investment and business infrastructure.

In this regard, I would like to propose to further improve the legislation, and to govern the relations in this area in the framework of one regulatory document by reducing their quantity by 60% in continuation of reforms and governance of permit and licenses relations.

Also, the leadership of the ministries, agencies and local executive authorities are mandated to comprehensively uphold the constructive initiatives of entrepreneurs and investors, take immediate actions to solve the challenges faced by them and overcome the existing issues and obstacles.

It should be mentioned that we have mobilized over TJS 152 bn of foreign investment, including TJS 60 bn of FDI during the last 20 years. Some TJS 36 bn of the above-mentioned direct investment was channeled to the development of industry alone.

In the last five years, we mobilized more than TJS 15 bn of foreign direct investment to various sectors of the national economy, however this indicator still does not meet the requirements of economic development. We plan to implement more than 200 public investment projects in the country and channel more than TJS 82 bn to the real sector and infrastructure alone by 2025.

I would like to emphasize that in the context of rapid and unpredictable developments in the world economy, intense competition for access to resources and the consequences of climate change, it is crucial to avail all modern tools for investment reinvigoration.

In this regard, it is important to widely introduce the financing mechanism of special funds for implementation of "green projects", particularly the implementation of targeted programs and projects on development of "green economy", including "green energy".

Accordingly, the Ministries of Economic Development and Trade, Finance, Foreign Affairs, the State Committee for Investment and State Property Management and other relevant agencies need to undertake measures to mobilize "green financing" to implement projects on industry and infrastructure particularly those, which are important from the environmental and food security perspectives.

The measures on industrial development and increased production of industrial products made it possible to increase the list of local industrial products by more than 40% during the last five years.

During this period, 1,382 factories and industrial enterprises were built and put into operation, which created 15,000 new jobs.

Overall, while there were only 358 industrial enterprises with 33,000 jobs in the country in 1991, 2500 production enterprises were built during independence, and currently there are 2800 industrial enterprises with 85 thousand jobs operational in the country.

In 2022 alone more than 500 production workshops and enterprises with 6,000 new jobs started operating, which made it possible to increase the manufacturing of industrial products to TJS 43 bn.

However, given the availability of the local resources and capacity including domestic raw materials, production capacities, labor resources, "green energy" and the growing demand in industrial products both locally and internationally,  these results are not sufficient to achieve our strategic goal of accelerated industrialization.

I would also like to recall that the country's export indicators are still low.

Therefore, the Ministry of Industry and New Technologies needs to work together with the State Committee for Investment and State Property Management, other relevant ministries and agencies, the local executive authorities, as well as entrepreneurs and investors to create industrial enterprises with modern technologies, create new jobs and increase the production of value added final products.

In this process, it is important to give priority to creation of industrial facilities, technology parks, development and implementation of public-private partnership projects, introduction of innovative technologies, use of energy-efficient equipment and mobilization of greater amount of FDI.

In particular, it is important to undertake required actions during the next three years to create 30 technological parks and industrial zones in remote areas of the country with a view to promoting public employment. 

Also, the Ministry of Industry and New Technologies jointly with other ministries and agencies, local executive authorities, and in cooperation with entrepreneurs and investors, is mandated to undertake necessary measures to build processing enterprises gradually starting from 2023, including four precious metal full-cycle processing enterprises in Dushanbe.

The Government is mandated to pay special attention to the extraction and processing of non-ferrous metals from identified deposits, including antimony, tungsten, nickel and other metals, and to develop and implement a program on their full processing in the country.

At the same time, with a view to fully utilizing the country's light industry capacity, the Ministry of Industry and New Technologies, in cooperation with the relevant ministries and agencies and local executive authorities needs to develop a national strategy for production and processing of cotton and textile industry and submit it to the Government of the country for review and further approval.

To this end, the Ministry of Industry and New Technologies jointly with the Ministry of Agriculture and other relevant ministries and agencies, and executive authorities of province, district and town need to undertake timely actions to construct and commission full cycle cotton fiber processing enterprises in 5 districts and towns, in particular in Dushanbe and Kulob cities during the next three years by mobilizing investments and implementing public private partnership projects.

The ministries of industry and new technologies, economic development and trade, the State committee on investment and state property management and local executive authorities are mandated to ensure effective operation of public and private industries, which have been idle or operating not in full capacity.

The above-mentioned ministries and agencies in cooperation with entrepreneurs and investors need to rehabilitate the plant oil enterprises of Dushanbe, Bokhtar and Konibodom by equipping them with the latest technologies and ensuring their previous capacity in 2023. 

Currently, the locally produced plant oil meets the country's consumer market demand by 22 percent only.

In case of resumption of the above mentioned enterprises, the public need in locally produced plant oil will be met by more than 70% .

Although the pharmaceutical industry has gradually developed in recent years and now we produce 540 medicines, and the volume of the industry's products has increased threefold in 2022 compared to 2021,  there is still a great untapped potential in this area.

During the last two years Tajikistan imported medications amounting almost USD 84 mln.

With a view to ensuring further development of the pharmaceutical industry, it is necessary for the Ministry of Industry and New Technologies and the Ministry of Health and Social Protection of the Population, together with the relevant entities, to attract direct investment in an effort to establish and operate modern enterprises for manufacturing of medicines, extensive processing of remediable plants, and boosting the volume of pharmaceutical production.

I would like to recall that access to housing is one of the most important areas of social life, and the Government has taken plenty of measures in this area.

Between 2000-2022, the annual volume of commissioned real estate has increased from 245,000 m2 to over 1.5m m2.

With a view to improving the living conditions of our people, in the last 10 years alone, 7,200 hectares of backyard lands have been allocated to the population for construction of more than 14m m2 of residential facilities.

In the course of independence, to 1,4m families were allocated land plots for residential construction.

To this end we allocated 139,000 hectares of land and enabled more than 9m citizens to improve their residential conditions. I would like to recall that during the 70 years of pre-independence period the population was allocated 77,000 hectares of land only.

Given the expansion of development activities and construction of various buildings, including multistorey residential and social facilities, the demand for construction materials, particularly decorative stones, has been increasing and some of them are still imported from abroad.

In 2021-2022, almost USD 10m worth of decorative stones were imported into the country and the transportation costs alone amounted to more than USD 2m.

Tajikistan has abundant resources of decorative stones, such as marble and granite, which are in high demand both inside and outside the country.

Given the above-mentioned potential introduction of extraction and processing of these materials, including decorative stones, can become a source for growth in the production of industrial products, creation of jobs, increasing export of products, and overall economic development of the country.

In this regard, the Ministry of Industry and New Technologies and the Export Agency together with the Directorate of Geology and industry’s enterprises are mandated to effectuate the extraction and final processing of decorative stones and their export abroad in the nearest future.

Furthermore, with a view to scaling up the manufacturing and export of industrial products, it is important to establish a big enterprise for construction materials in Yovon district with the use of local raw materials, such as gypsum in 2023.

Taking into account the population growth, as well as increase in the demand for the establishment of industrial enterprises and residential houses, I would like to once again urge the leadership and specialists of the Committee on Architecture and Construction, regions, cities, districts and related authorities to pay an utmost attention to compliance with the rules and standards of urban planning during the construction process. In this regard it is important to ensure wide use of national and modern architectural elements, state-of-the-art technologies and high-quality construction materials.

Tajikistan is a country with rich resources for generation of clean energy.

As I have mentioned on many occasions, currently, 98% of electricity in Tajikistan is generated in hydropower plants, and our country ranks sixth in the world in terms of "green energy".

Tajikistan is also among the top countries in terms of least amount of greenhouse gas emissions. 

The use of “clean" energy generated in our country for charging electric vehicles, will reduce our demand in oil products, and thereby contribute to the protection and improvement of the environment. 

In this context, the Ministries of Industry and New Technologies and Transport are mandated to take specific measures to initiate the manufacturing and assembly of electric vehicles within the country.

Moreover, to promote and present the environmental advantages of our industrial products manufactured with the use of "green energy", the local enterprises need to take measures to obtain a "Green Product Certification” (GPC) issued by the specialized international agencies.

Currently 20 more projects amounting TJS 17 bn in total are under implementation as part of our efforts taken in the years of independence towards energy security and efficiency.

In particular, this year,  we completed the project on rehabilitation of Sarband HPP with the capacity of 270Mw amounting to TJS 1,360bn, while the initiatives on reconstruction of  Norak HPP amounting TJS 7bn and Qayroqqum HPP TJS 2 bn as well as construction of Sebzor HPP amounting to TJS 612m in Roshtqal’a district of Badakhshan Mountainous Autonomous Region (GBAO) and wind and solar power plants in Murghob district amounting to TJS 170m are smoothly ongoing.

It is noteworthy that after 50 years of operation, the first unit of the Norak HPP was renovated at the cost of over TJS 800m and was launched with the new capacity of 375Mw in October 2022.

The full completion of the renovation works and installation of modern equipment and technologies will enable the Norak HPP to enter its new life with increased capacity of  775Mw.

The construction activities in Roghun HPP are also ongoing dynamically. To this end we channeled TJS 3.2bn in 2022.

At the same time, it should be underlined that the electricity loss has had a negative impact on the financial situation of companies and enterprises in this sector in recent years.

We have spent over TJS 10.7bn for restoration and renovation of the country's electricity grids during the independence period. However, the electricity loss situation is still concerning as it was 20.4% in ten months of this year.

In this regard, the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources and the "Electricity Distribution Company" JSC are mandated to ensure high-quality and timely implementation of the TJS 2.4bn project on electricity loss reduction and install more than 800,000 billing meters in various districts and towns of the country within the identified time-frame.

The Ministry of Energy and Water Resources is mandated to work with the line companies to establish a unified and centralized billing system, install smart meters, and thereby reduce electricity losses to 9%t by the end of 2025, ensure the full collection of electricity fees and effective use of existing resources.

I also would like to urge our noble people to follow good culture of electricity consumption and make efforts to save it by applying energy efficient equipment and minimizing the electricity loss. 

At the same time, given the "green energy" resources and opportunities in the country, the ministries of energy and water resources, industry and new technologies, economic development and trade, the State Committee for Investment and State Property Management and the National Academy of Sciences have to establish an interagency working group to comprehensively research the opportunities and the prospects for the development of hydrogen energy, and submit a specific proposal to the Government.

Dear Participants!

With a view to improving the condition of roads and highways and transform Tajikistan into a transit country, 13 public investment projects amounting TJS 5,130 bn were implemented in the last 5 years in the field of transport, as a result of which 250 kilometers of highways, 42 bridges, 4 corridors and several flyovers were constructed. Currently, 17 public investment projects with a total amount of TJS 11bn are being implemented in this sphere.

During the next three years, six projects amounting TJS 7.4 bn, will be implemented, which will enable to construct and commission 317 kilometers of international highways, 32 bridges, 5 tunnels with a length of 11.2 kilometers and 7 corridors.

The measures taken in the field made it possible for Tajikistan to steadily rank 50th among 138 countries covered by the World Economic Forum’s Road Quality surveys during the last four years.

To further advance the road renovation and reconstruction, and enhance the country's transit opportunities, the implementation of 3 investment projects, particularly the reconstruction of a section of the Danghara-Bokhtar highway (29 kilometers) and the Dushanbe-Kulma highway in the section of the Qal’aikhumb-Vanj-border area of Rushon district (93 km) have been commenced in 2022.

The project on construction of Roghun-Obigarm-Nurobod (76 km) highway is also dynamically ongoing.

The feasibility study on the renovation and construction of Khujand-Konibodom and Rushon-Khorugh-Varshez Village highways began in 2022.

In addition, the implementation of 5 more projects, including the projects on construction of Guliston-Kulob (32.5 km), Danghara-Guliston (49.2 km), Guliston-Farkhor (40 km), Bokhtar-Levakant-Danghara (40 kilometers) highways, 4 road sections in Soughd province (52 kilometers) and the construction of bridges over the Ghund and Shorfdarya rivers and corridors in the Barsem region (4.6 kilometers) in Badakhshan Mountainous Autonomous Region will begin in 2023.

In this respect, it is necessary for the leadership of the regions, cities and districts of the country to take advantage of the opportunities and constructive initiatives of entrepreneurs and generous people to reinvigorate the works on construction and restoration of local roads of residential settlements, centers of towns, villages and communities.

With a view to expanding development activities on improvement of various conners of the country, competitions on best town, district, settlement, village and communities on the occasion of the 35th Anniversary of State Independence should be conducted. 

At the same time, the Government is mandated to undertake actions on introduction of "Open Sky" in order to expand the country's transit opportunities, improve the quality of civil aviation services and ensure their competitiveness.

The development of the communication industry, in particular, the high speed and affordable price of Internet, is important in advancing the digital economy, artificial intellect, information security, mobilizing investment and creating innovative technological parks.

Currently, there are 4,5mln internet subscribers in the country, which corresponds to 45 subscribers per 100 residents. However, I emphasize that the speed and cost of the Internet are still not satisfactory.

In this manner, the Communication Authority is mandated to take the necessary measures together with operators to improve the quality and reduce the cost of mobile and Internet services, and make high-speed Internet available in all regions of the country, including remote areas.

Subsequently, with a view to creating a modern legal framework to address the above  mentioned issues, the relevant agencies are mandated to develop and submit to the Government the revised Law of the Republic of Tajikistan "On Electrical Communications" based on the progress and developments in this field on a global scale.

Ladies and Gentlemen!

The sensitive situation of today's world, in particular, the severe food shortage in a quarter of the world's countries, urges us to take additional measures to achieve our strategic goal on food security.

In recent years, despite the negative impact of external shocks, the constant drought, and restriction of food exports by some countries, we maintained food security and the abundance of the domestic market with agricultural products thanks to the everyday efforts of the country's dedicated farmers.

In particular, the production of grains reached 1,6mln tons, potatoes - 1mln tons, and fruits and vegetables – 3,2mln tons in 2022.

As a result, during the last five years, the average annual growth of agricultural production was maintained at the rate of 7% and it has increased by 1.4 times.  During this period, the production of poultry meat increased by 8 times and its import decreased by 11 times.

In the last five years, the reclamation situation of 50 000 hectares of land was improved, 13 000 hectares of new land was developed and 23 000 hectares of abandoned abundant agricultural land was resumed into operation.

The country’s farmers improved their practices on land management, particularly in the area of secondary sowings and extra harvest, based on the advice provided to them and the area of secondary cultivation lands increased from 90,000 hectares to 213,000 hectares.

According to the available data 85% of the country's arable lands are irrigated, which also provides more than 90% of the total crop produced in the country.

At the same time, more than 40% of irrigated land depends on the operation of pump stations.

In this regard, with a view to increasing the production of agricultural output Ministry of Agriculture, State Committee for Land Management and Geodesy, Agency for Land Reclamation and Irrigation, Academy of Agricultural Sciences, and the executive authorities of the provinces, districts and towns have to pay an utmost attention to the improvement of the state of land reclamation, renovation and reconstruction of irrigation facilities. To this end, draft medium-term state program on development of new irrigated lands and restoration of abandoned agricultural land should be developed and submitted to the Government of the country.

The Directorate of Geology and the Academy of Agricultural Sciences need to comprehensively study the available mineral resources and make substantiated proposals to the Government regarding the possibilities of their use for the production of mineral fertilizers in the country.

Also, the Ministry of Industry and New Technologies jointly with the executive authorities of provinces, towns and districts, and entrepreneurs need to undertake actions required for establishing mineral fertilizer production enterprises.

Distinguished Members of Parliament!

In recent years, the special attention of the Government to the tourism industry enabled to increase not only the number of tourists, but also the quantity of domestic tourism companies. During the last five years, over 3.9m tourists including one million in 2022 have visited our country. During this period, over 600 in total and 100 in 2022 alone tourism infrastructure facilities were commissioned to provide services in this area.

I would like to recall that with a view to attracting more tourists and foreign investors, Tajikistan introduced a unilateral visa-free regime for citizens of 52 foreign countries as of January 1, 2022, and it is important to implement this initiative effectively. To this end, Tajikistan has also introduced simplified visa regime for citizens of 126 foreign countries.

To ensure the further development of the tourism sector, the Tourism Development Committee should undertake necessary measures to increase the variety and improve quality of tourism services, widely introduce medical, eco-tourism, and mountaineering.

While tourism has a seasonal nature in other countries it is a year-round in Tajikistan.

In this process it is important to pay an utmost attention to effective and high-quality implementation of investment projects in the sector, further construction of tourism infrastructure facilities in line with international standards, improvement of Tajikistan’s raise international ranking, promotion of the country’s national brand covering tourism opportunities at the global level, as well as capacity building of the industry.

Productive employment is among the strategic goals of the state, for implementation of which it is important to adopt relevant regional programs. It is important for the Ministry of Labor, Migration and Employment to develop and implement medium-term employment programs.

With a view to training professionals, including youth, the Government, based on the domestic and foreign labor market analysis, should take measures to develop and implement medium-term program for primary and secondary vocational training of youth for the national economy.

To ensure effectiveness of primary vocational and adults education centers, the Ministries of Labor, Migration and Employment, Education and Science, Economic Development and Trade are mandated to conduct a comprehensive analysis and provide their recommendations on the reform in the administration system of these institutions to the Government within the next two months.

In this regard, creation of jobs and employment of the entire population is the primary task of all branches of the state power, the leadership of all public institutions and entrepreneurs.

I would like to reiterate the instructions I have given earlier in this regard.

The Government should take all possible measures in order to cover unskilled citizens at the age of 18 and above with professional training courses and widely train the population on occupation until 2026.

In this direction, it is necessary to take immediate measures to improve the quality of vocational training in educational institutions and to engage the population, especially youth, women and girls, in learning skills and crafts in demand in the labor market.

Honorable members of Majlisi Milli and Majlisi Namoyandagon!

Dear Compatriots!

The State and Government of Tajikistan regard the social protection, science and education, healthcare and culture among priorities in their policy and have been undertaking all necessary actions towards the smooth development of these areas since the initial days of our state independence.

Now, with the aim of supporting vulnerable groups of the population, the Government of the country is instructed to increase an amount of social allowance for poor families annually from July 1, 2023 to 2025 from the current 512 Somoni to 836 Somoni, as well as additionally for each child of these families, according to this period, take measures to allocate funds from 34 Somoni to 152 Somoni.

Furthermore, in order to improve the social status of the population, I propose:

- from March 1, 2023 to increase the salary of law enforcement officers and military personnel by 25% and the salary of other employees of these bodies by 20%;

- from July 1, 2023 to increase the salary of employees of education, science, healthcare, social protection sectors and scholarships by 20%;

I also propose that starting from July 1, 2023:

- to increase the amount of basic pension by 20%;

- insurance benefits, which are assigned and paid in accordance with the Law of the Republic of Tajikistan "On insurance and state benefits" should be indexed to the extent of the inflation rate of the last two years, that means increase by not less than 16%;

Other current pensions should be increased by 20% of the basic pension rate.

We regard the school as a venue of science and knowledge, literacy and enlightenment, and the teacher as thinking change makers and educators of the younger generation, thus, we consider it very important to pay them a respect.

With no schools and teachers, the level of education of the people will decrease, the nation will become illiterate, society will suffer from ignorance, and as a result peace, stability, security and prosperity, and most importantly, the development of the state will be harmed. In this regard, I would like to emphasize again that the civilized nation building starts with education.

Therefore, taking care of science and education, and thereby addressing the issues in this area is an investment to human development. For this very reason, the State and Government having regarded the development of education sphere, the role of teachers and the creation of favorable conditions for teenagers and young people as one of the priority directions, have been undertaking all necessary measures for the development of this important area of ​​the social system.

The objective from implementation of all measures towards development of science and education is to raise the nation’s literacy, constantly improve the education quality and training of professionals meeting the current demand.

We should not forget, that the progress of the state and the prosperous future our Motherland directly depends on the public literacy and knowledge, because illiteracy, ignorance and superstition only harm the human being and causes the backwardness of the society and the decline in the state development.

Accordingly, it is important to underline that during the last thirty years the number of general education institutions and their students has increased by more than 2 times, primary and secondary vocational education institutions and their students by 1.6 and 3.5 times respectively, and the higher schools and their students by 4 times, and more than 3 times accordingly.

In 2022, the public budget allocated TJS 6,304 bn to the education sphere, which is more by TJS 707m or by 12.6% compared to 2021 and it makes nearly 19% of the total amount of fiscal expenditures.

Having availed the opportunities created by the State and the Government, the research and higher education institutions should be proactive and contribute the further development of our national economy by introducing innovations and inventions, innovative methods of scientific research and modern tools and technologies.

The current state of our national science requires undertaking effective measures to adapt to the current global processes and to maintain the activities of scientific and higher education institutions in line with the latest requirements.

In this regard, the ministries of education and science, labor, migration and employment in cooperation with other ministries and agencies should take necessary measures to improve the quality of training of professionals in the fields of industry, information and communication technologies, as well as the digital economy by introducing modern vocational training programs and skills-centered exercises  and ensuring connectivity between the science and practice.

These ministries and agencies also need to submit their specific proposals to the Government with regard to establishment of joint universities with the developed countries of the world to train professionals on engineering and technologies.

Ladies and Gentlemen!

During the independence years, the population of the country increased from 5m in 1991 to 10m in July 2022 or by other words it has doubled.

In order to further improve the quality of medical services and the population's access to them, it is important to build new and reconstruct the existing institutions and equip them with modern equipment. To this end, during the last two years alone, the Government provided more than 200 modern equipment and devices amounting over TJS 1 bn to healthcare facilities of the country.

Disregard the achievements in prevention and treatment of diseases, there are still gaps in training of professionals, particularly in both public and private medical colleges on all specialties and staffing of healthcare facilities with qualified personnel as well as quality of medical services. In this regard I would like to emphasize once again that the development of pharmaceutical industry is crucial for us.

During our independence, the Government took effective measures to support women and girls and empower them.

Currently the women represent 25% of the total number of civil servants, and 20% of the servants in decision making positions. 

At the same time women’s share makes 73% in the education sphere, 71% in healthcare, 47% in culture, 39% in banking, 25% in communication with 40% of them working in the field of information services.

Establishment of the presidential grants contributed to the expansion of women's entrepreneurship, and along with improving their monetary situation, they are now significantly contributing to the economic development of the country.

In 2022, the banking institutions issued to over 600,000 women and girls loans amounting more than TJS 3,4 bn, which is 2.4 times more compared to 2018. Overall, the loans issued to women and girls during the last five years amounts TJS 12.1 bn. These figures vividly prove the proactive participation of women in the country's economy.

During the last 21 years, over 504,000 girls and women graduated from professional education institutions and became skilled professionals, and 239,000 of them gained higher education, where currently another 100,000 girls study at higher education institutions. We intend to further enhance the involvement of women and girls in public and community services, as they are a big power in our society and we always count on their energy and initiatives.

We always pay a high respect to the role of Woman-Mother as the holy existence, because she give birth to human generation, educates and growth it.

The youth of independent Tajikistan are the constructive power of our Motherland and they have prominent role in the development of all spheres of life of the state and society.

We are proud of the youth of our country, as they actively participate in the development of the state, protection of our ancestral land, and they are dedicated to the people and state of Tajikistan with the high sense of patriotism and honor.

It is the youth, who play a prominent role in publicity of the sports and thanks to their victories the Flag of our beloved Tajikistan is raised internationally in different parts of the world. 

Supporting the youth, addressing their difficulties and the proper use of this strategic national resource for the sake of our Motherland’s development and prosperity, and peace and stability are among the most important tasks, which is under the utmost attention by the Government, as Tajikistan itself is a county of young people.

This year, we adopted the "National Program for the Social Development of Youth in the Republic of Tajikistan for 2022-2026" and the "State Program for the Education of Patriotism and Strengthening the National Identity of Tajik Youth for 2023-2027".

In this regard, the Committee of Youth and Sports together with the executive authorities of provinces, districts and towns needs to undertake required actions for adoption of youth development programs at the local level.

Distinguished participants,

Stable and rapid development of the country, in particular, implementation of strategies, long and mid-term programs urge us to ensure the relevant legal framework in a timely and quality fashion.

This task requires the legislator institutions, first and foremost, the parliament, to fully strengthen its activities.

The objectives we have identified for ourselves, urge us to further strengthen the activities of the Parliament in adoption of timely, robust and high-quality laws.

This issue in turn requires the constant cooperation of the Parliament with other law-making authorities, including with entities with the right to law initiation and law executive agencies.

With the development of public relations, enhancing the judicial guarantees of the subjects of these relations in mind, it is necessary to continuously strengthen and improve the activity of the judicial authorities.

Therefore, it is important for the Supreme Court and the Supreme Economic Court to take effective measures to eliminate existing shortcomings, to ensure proper selection and deployment of human resources, professional development and training of judges.

Currently, terrorists and extremist groups apply new ways and methods to recruit and attract citizens to their ranks by availing modern information technologies, and mislead inexperienced youth with their extremist ideas.

In this regard, it is important for the relevant authorities to further expand the coordination of activities in the area of detection and prevention of terrorist and extremist threats, by strengthening educational activities to prevent young people from extremism, and to educate them in the spirit of dedication to their people and homeland and respect for universal human values.

In this respect, it is necessary to establish a Unified Information Center to prevent extremist and terrorist crimes, as well as crimes committed with the use of information and communication technologies.

Therefore, the Prosecutor General’s Office, the State Committee for National Security and the Ministry of Internal Affairs, jointly with other authorities, are mandated to study the possibility of the establishment of the above-mentioned center and submit their proposals to the Government of the country.

Military service is a school of life and education for young people and educating the military servicemen in the spirit of patriotism and consciousness, and providing them with good service conditions, as well as compliance with requirements of military regulations is the most important dimension of the country’s defense policy.

The complicated situation of the current world urges us to accelerate the renovation and equipment of the Armed Forces, enhance combat readiness and defense capacity building of the country.

Thus, the Government of the country, the Ministry of Defense and other relevant authorities are mandated to develop and submit to the Government the National Defense Concept Framework to increase the country’s defense capacity.

Distinguished Members of Parliament!

Dear participants!

Today geopolitical processes still remain difficult and complex. These processes have led to the growth of disagreements and conflicts, as well as intensification of competition between states to expand their influence in the different regions of the world.

This situation brings unprecedented security threats and challenges and in general has a serious impact on the fundamental architecture of international relations.

In such conditions, the Republic of Tajikistan continues a balanced and verified foreign policy with a view to ensuring its national interests and protecting its traditional values.

In this context, our state is determined to expand and develop bilateral and multilateral friendly relations and mutually beneficial and constructive cooperation with all countries of the world based on its «Open Doors» foreign policy.

In 2022 Tajikistan, celebrated the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations with most countries of the world. The maintenance of active relations and the development and strengthening of the set of relations with our strategic, traditional and reliable partners is a priority area of our foreign policy.

At the same time, we will continue our efforts towards stable development and strengthening of the spirit of good neighborliness, trust and sustained friendship in Central Asia.

Tajikistan will continue its cooperation with international partners, including the United Nations, the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Collective Security Treaty Organization, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the Economic Cooperation Organization, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and other multilateral institutions as their active member.

In this vein, we enjoy a high-level cooperation with international financial institutions and we are willing to further expand this collaboration.

Tajikistan will further contribute to solving pressing issues of the international community, such as the fight against terrorism, extremism, transnational organized crime, arms trafficking, cybercrimes, as well as adaptation to the impacts of climate change and elimination of its consequences.

We support the resolution of international issues and regional conflicts through dialogue and are interested in the strengthening the central role of the United Nations in this process.

It is a great pleasure that Tajikistan is recognized at the international level as a champion country on water and climate issues.

On the 14th of December of this year, the United Nations General Assembly at the initiative of Tajikistan unanimously adopted its resolutions to declare 2025 as the «International Year of Glaciers’ Preservation» and March 21 as the «World Day of Glaciers».

According to this resolution there will be created a special Trust Fund in the framework of the United Nations for the implementation of projects and programs aimed at preserving glaciers. Also, Dushanbe will host an international conference on glaciers preservation in 2025.

It is a source of pride and honor for all of us that the 5th global initiative of our country on water and climate will be implemented on a global scale.

Indeed adoption of this resolution at the global level is an important milestone initiative, which is enable the international community to undertake the required joint actions on preservation of the largest drinking water sources.

I would like to avail this opportunity to offer my sincere gratitude to all countries, UN agencies and other international and regional organizations.

I sincerely congratulate the honorable people of Tajikistan on the occasion of the adoption of this resolution by the UN General Assembly.

We believe that the comprehensive implementation of this decision will give an effective and positive impetus to our actions in terms of glaciers’ preservation.

Dear compatriots!

Distinguished members of Majlisi Milli and Majlisi Namoyandagon!

Today we described our country’s recent socio-economic progress and achievements, existing shortcomings and obstacles, and defined appropriate tasks to overcome them.

I emphasize that only with sincere efforts, high sense of responsibility for the people and the Motherland and constructive initiatives we will achieve our noble goals.

I believe that our honorable, proud, patriotic, strong-willed and hard-working people will be able to perform all kinds of good deeds and overcome all challenges, make our dear Tajikistan even more prosperous, beautiful and progressive and create a favorable condition for the worthy life of every citizen of our Motherland.

Each of us, starting from heads of state authorities to all civil servants must serve the honorable people of Tajikistan faithfully and honestly, i.e., we have to work even harder to fulfill our constructive plans and programs on time and with high quality.

We should be patriotic and never forget that patriotism is the most important factor and the most important way of development of the state and society.

That is, each of us should continue to make the concepts of «patriotism» and «development» the motto of our daily activities.

In addition, protecting the independence and freedom of our beloved Tajikistan and its achievements - peace and tranquility, political stability and national unity should be a human and moral obligation and a civic duty of every honorable individual and patriot of the society.

We must avail our knowledge and experience, skills and abilities, and channel all our efforts for the development of our sovereign state and our ancestral homeland and bequeath a prosperous state to future generations.

I wish all the glorious people of Tajikistan, to each and every one of you - distinguished members of parliament and esteemed participants, happiness, success and good luck in your endeavors.

Always be prosperous and successful dear compatriots!